Will Martyr is an exceptionally talented artist working in extraordinarily precise detail. Trained at the Slade, The New York Studio Schools and the Royal College of Art, each of his stylish canvases require a multiplicity of techniques to accomplish.
Martyr utilises a mixture of his own photography and found imagery to construct complex and organised compositions. These images are edited digitally and then drawn onto the canvas. Each feature is masked off using tape and individual colours are mixed and then painted onto the surface. This painstaking process results in truly immaculate work.
Martyr's scenes, devoid of human presence, facilitate a exploration of our relationship to our domestic environment. The utopian views depicted in Martyr’s paintings, although formed from found imagery, present a dream-like world far beyond the realms of what exists in reality. The seductive ideals that he conveys through these sleek exteriors empty of human presence and conjuring scenes of privilege, are closely comparable to David Hockney’s paintings of California swimming pools in the 1960s.
Martyr is heavily inspired by the design and architectural movements of Bauhaus, blurring the line between art and architecture in his paintings. He is also influenced by Futurism and Vorticism, attempting to express the dynamism of the modern world with hard edged imagery that requires an economy of gesture.
Martyr’s debut solo show Wanderlust at Unit London in 2017 presented twenty large-scale paintings which considered how the mass-consumption of imagery, affects our perception of reality. Coinciding with this exhibition, and with assistance from Jealous Gallery, Martyr created an ambitious 47 colour screenprint titled ‘A Way with Words’. The print required painstakingly precise colour separation and layering to create one of the most technically ambitious editions completed at Jealous. His work is placed in many high profile international private and corporate collections worldwide and much of Martyr’s work is now undertaken via private commission.
Martyr will be featured in an upcoming solo exhibition, Fathoms, at our Mayfair gallery later this year, featuring brand new monumental tondos.